Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The real work has started

We have finally been able to start the real work on the house!  That is, the real work that we're doing ourselves. My son Danny and I have been working on structured wiring all week. I think we've got a mile or more of wire fished through the rafters and studs so far. Just another mile or so, and we're done. 

We finished the video cables (two runs of RG6 to each location that could possibly have a TV), the audio-video controller wires, and the speaker wires. I also finished plumbing the central vacuum pipes. Tomorrow, we'll finish miscellaneous audio/video cables, and work on the ethernet cables.  We're laying cat6 ethernet cable to support gigabit ethernet throughout the house--every room will have at least one gigabit ethernet connection.

Danny has been a huge help! On the first day we were laying wires, he told me he needed the ladder I was standing on. But then, taking a look up, the break dancer in him came out. He climbed the wall and pulled the wires down without the ladder. I asked my brother Steve, who was also helping on the first day, if he could climb around just as easily.  His response: "When I was his age."  Danny and his friend Jake, spent the second day crawling around the rafters on the second floor, pulling video cables while I laid vacuum pipes. I certainly couldn't have finished it this quickly without them. 

Today, we had to take a cold day. Temperatures in the single digits are not compatible with running thin wires--the wires crack. And the 170,000 BTU propane heater I bought doesn't do a whole lot of good at that temperature without insulation. So instead, we moved machinery into the workshop. My brother-in-law Bill brought his panel van, and we were able to move the big tools today. We also picked up our garage doors. Bill will install them on Monday. 

Plumbing and HVAC are finished, and the electrician says that they'll be finished next Monday, and be ready for inspection on Tuesday. So it looks like next Tuesday is the big day--both electrical and structural inspections. I hope we can pass the first time through--although I won't schedule the insulation until a week from Monday just in case the inspector finds something that needs fixing (and to give me time to make sure we're really ready to close up the walls).  The carpenters should be here the same day to start the siding.  So we'll see some big transformations in the next couple of weeks. 

I'll try to get some pictures tomorrow.  Wires really aren't too interesting. But vacuum pipes? And Danny crawling around the rafters?  Certainly worth some pictures.

Oh. And Happy New Year!